Changing Meanings of Othello
Shakespeare’s text Othello’s meaning, changes according to a responder’s analysis. The characters are often seen through different point of views, as planned to by Shakespeare. The primary characters, Othello, is an honorable, black male who is marginalised in Venice due to his race and beliefs and whereas Iago is a person who hides his nature of being manipulative and evil under the guise of “honesty”. These two characters are exceptionally crucial to the themes and values that are conveyed in this text and this is likewise shown in the Oliver Parker’s film.
Iago’s continuous manipulation and his ability to create chaos in the middle of society, exemplifies that evil can not be genuinely eliminated and that it is an everlasting aspect. Othello and Iago in Shakespeare’s initial text show a contrast in between excellent versus evil. Othello who is honorable and honourable, and well-spoken opposed to Iago, who is a manipulative and sly person. Through this contrast, Shakespeare intends to improve Iago’s manipulative and wicked nature, where it is highlighted in the quote “I am not what I am” as he informs Roderigo.
Iago’s weapon is control, and this is a tremendously effective weapon in the ignorant society of Venice where everybody is relying on of each other. In Shakespeare’s play, Othello is introduced as a noble and honourable man, who is well-respected in Venice due to his military status and his expertise on the battleground. He is described as “Moorship” or “General” where these titles, mean titles of honour and courage in Venice. He is also humble, amusing and noble which is shown in the Duke’s quote “He is more fair than black”.
His well spoken dialect which shows that he is of greater class is illustrated in the quote “Many potent, serious and reverend signors, my honorable and approv ‘d great masters”. It can be said that Othello is considered to be an honourable character. Iago nevertheless is quite the really opposite of Othello. He is presented to be manipulative and evil from the start of the play. Just the audience is notified of his machinations, through soliloquies, just in case that the audience falls prey to Iago’s machinations as well. The truth that every character, paradoxically names him as “Honest Iago” shows that Iago’s successful adjustment of every character.
His machinations appear to have no driving motive behind and it appears that Iago’s control and chaos is only for the simple sake of his amusement and for the sake of chaos, a true aspect of a devil. This is reflected in the quote where Othello tells Iago at the end of the play, “If that thou be’st a devil, then I can not eliminate thee”. Likewise Iago’s control is further checked out in the soliloquy “Hence do I ever make my fool my purse …” where Iago fools Roderigo to provide Iago his money and in the quote “By Janus, I think no”, a recommendation by Shakespeare to demonstrate that Iago is “2 faced”.
Iago’s adjustment of Roderigo can be compared to Iago being the puppet master and Roderigo is among Iago’s lots of puppets. Iago’s soliloquies’ appear to be the only part where Iago acts true to himself and through making use of dramatic paradox; the audience is able to see the machinations of Iago. Iago’s deemed evil due to the fact that he has no driving intention behind his duplicit actions where Othello says “Will you I hope, require that demi-devil, why he hath ensnared my soul and body” and to which Iago responds “From this time forth I never ever will speak a word”.
The quote “I have’t. It is engender ‘d Hell and night, must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light” and Iago’s continuous reference to the devil and hell reflects the evil nature of Iago. Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995) provides the play in its timeless setting but changed for a contemporary audience. The characters of Othello and Iago are still preserved. In the beginning of the movie, the haunting music and the dark environment is a foreshadowing of the turmoil that is yet to hit Venice.
The black guy in the gondola wearing on a mask symbolises Iago’s adjustment of the characters of the motion picture. The motion picture’s employment of camera shots and shadows are a crucial element which boosts the characterisation of Othello and Iago. For instance, when Iago is seen to be whispering in Othello’s ear or Roderigor’s, it is evident that only half of his face is revealed. This exhibits the two-faced nature of Iago and the reference to Janus, the two-faced Roman God in Shakespeare’s text. The chess board scene is portrayed twice in the motion picture.
In the first representation, Iago is seen at a low angle shot to reveal him dominating a chess board with a black king, a white queen and a white knight. This shot symbolises that Iago is a “puppet master”. The chess pieces represent Othello, Desdemona and Cassio respectively, while the chess board represent Iago’s manipulative machinations is a game to him which he controls for the sake of his amusement. The 2nd chess board scene depicts Iago sweeping the black king and white queen off the chessboard. This represent Iago’s manipulation will e the failure of Othello and Desdemona’s relationship which Iago is a puppet master. Much usages of costuming and lighting is utilized. When Othello and Iago are next to each other, Othello is seemed to be wearing a white bathrobe whereas Iago is wearing dark clothing. This is an immediate juxtaposition in between the characterisation of Othello and Iago. The white robe is a sign of pureness and good, whereas the dark clothes are a sign of wicked and control. Iago tends to perform his schemes in the shadows as shown in the armoury scene, where Iago is seen to whisper “toxin” into Othello’s ears.
In this scene, again Iago’s only half of Iago’s face is revealed and this once again exhibits that he is “two-faced”. As Othello progressively succumbs to Iago’s lies, his outfit ends up being dark, which exhibits that Iago’s control and evil is polluting Othello’s mind and soul. Iago’s survival at the end of the play, exhibits that evil can not be truly destroyed which it is an aspect that is everlasting. Oliver Parker’s movie and Shakespeare’s play, both show typical aspects compared to the Marginalisation reading.
Othello is a black male who is trying to absorb with Venetian society. His taking of a Venetian better half (Desdemona), his military status of Venice and his well-spoken dialect which amplifies nobility within Othello, all reflect this assimilation. This is shown likewise in the scene where a black male remains in a gondola donning a mask. The marginalisation of Othello is shown in Iago’s and Roderigo’s conversation in the beginning where they abuse Othello as being “thick-lipped”, “disliked Moor”, “a Barbary horse” and they later on connect him to “an old black ram”.
The racial side of Othello also operates in another method, as a difference in cultural and social understanding in between Othello and other Venetians, which makes Othello insecure about his position in the Venetian society. When Brabantio implicates Othello of criminal offenses that are apparently stereotypical of his race– “witchcraft” and “practices of cunning hell”-, it is not actually witchcraft that Othello is implicated of, but due to the fact that of his race and outsider status. Othello’s outsider status is a crucial element that assists Iago’s manipulation.
The film also improves the reading by portraying Othello as having a huge physique, earrings, tattoos and intense costuming which makes Othello stand apart more. In conclusion the main themes and worths of Othello are wicked and manipulation and how wicked continues. Also marginalisation plays a major function in the catastrophe. The primary character Iago can be said to be a personification of the devil where he controls simply for the sake of his amusement however likewise his survival is a sign that evil is continuous.